The problem of animal extinction has always been well-known to the public but probably hasn’t been as alarming as it is now. According to a recent study made by the World Wildlife Fund(WWF), in the last 50 years, there has been a 60% decline in the size of the entire animal population. This information was introduced in WWF’s ‘Living Planet Report 2018.’
This report is published every two years to update us on the current condition of the planet, with the latest one having been published this year. It is structured into four chapters, with every chapter discussing a separate topic concerning the ecosystem.
The first chapter talks about the importance of biodiversity and how it has helped society
and the economy. The second chapter introduces the biggest threats and pressures
biodiversity and the ecosystem are currently facing. The third chapter is giving us
information on how much the whole situation has developed during the last 50 years, and the fourth and final chapter is envisioning a better position for the ecosystem.
Throughout the report, humankind is presented as the main threat to the ecosystem, the
biggest problems being overhunting and habitat loss. The main victims getting affected by this are mammals, birds, fish, reptiles and amphibians. In addition to this, it also includes other alarming facts, such as freshwater loss (83% decline since 1970). The most affected areas are the Neotropics, the Indo-Pacific and the Afrotropics.
Despite the fact that biodiversity is still in decline, the report doesn’t suggest that there is no hope in saving the planet. It features a statement made by the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and it’s outlook on the situation in 2050:
“Biodiversity is valued, conserved, restored and wisely used, maintaining ecosystem services, sustaining a healthy planet and delivering benefits essential for all people”.
It is needless to say how much we need our ecosystem to function properly, but our
ecosystem needs us as well. It is still not too late to make a change in the way we treat it if we want to maintain life in the future.
“Natural systems essential to our survival—forests, oceans, and rivers—remain in decline. Wildlife around the world continues to dwindle. It reminds us we need to change course. It’s time to balance our consumption with the needs of nature, and to protect the only planet that is our home.” – Carter Roberts, president and CEO of WWF-US
Written by Marko Plantak